IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Allowing for Risk Choices in Diamond's "Financial Intermediation as Delegated Monitoring"


  • Hellwig, Martin

    () (Sonderforschungsbereich 504)


The paper studies the relative efficiency of intermediated finance and direct finance in a variant of Diamond's (1984) model of ''financial intermediation as delegated monitoring''. Project sizes are taken to be variable so a choice must be taken on whether to fund a small number of projects on large scale or a large number of projects on a small scale. In the absence of effective advance commitments to lending policies, this introduces an additional agency problem of intermediated finance as the well known excessive-risk-taking effect of debt finance induce intermediaries to underdiversify. The paper analyses the impact of this effect on the performance of intermediated finance under various assumptions about project technologies. Most strikingly, in the case of fixed monitoring costs and project technologies with stochastic constant returns to scale, there is no diversification at all, and intermediated finance is worse than direct finance. In this very case, with effective advance commitments to lending policies, an optimal intermediation arrangement would exploit both, the scope for diversification and the scale effects in monitoring so as to attain approximately first-best outcomes when there are many available projects.

Suggested Citation

  • Hellwig, Martin, 1998. "Allowing for Risk Choices in Diamond's "Financial Intermediation as Delegated Monitoring"," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 98-04, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  • Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:98-04 Note: It is a pleasure to acknowlegde helpful discussions with Vittoria Cerasi, Christian Laux, and Paul Povel. Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft is gratefully acknowledged.

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Matthews, Steven & Moore, John, 1987. "Monopoly Provision of Quality and Warranties: An Exploration in the Theory of Multidimensional Screening," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 441-467, March.
    2. Jehiel, Philippe & Moldovanu, Benny & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1996. "How (Not) to Sell Nuclear Weapons," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 814-829, September.
    3. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1990. "The regulation of multiproduct firms : Part I: Theory," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-36, October.
    4. Champsaur, Paul & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1989. "Multiproduct Duopolists," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 533-557, May.
    5. Leonard J. Mirman & David Sibley, 1980. "Optimal Nonlinear Prices for Multiproduct Monopolies," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 659-670, Autumn.
    6. Palfrey, Thomas R, 1983. "Bundling Decisions by a Multiproduct Monopolist with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 463-483, March.
    7. McAfee, R. Preston & McMillan, John, 1988. "Multidimensional incentive compatibility and mechanism design," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 335-354, December.
    8. A. Michael Spence, 1980. "Multi-Product Quantity-Dependent Prices and Profitability Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(5), pages 821-841.
    9. Armstrong, Mark, 1996. "Multiproduct Nonlinear Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 51-75, January.
    10. Jean-Charles Rochet & Philippe Chone, 1998. "Ironing, Sweeping, and Multidimensional Screening," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 783-826, July.
    11. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    12. Wilson, Robert, 1991. "Erratum [Multiproduct Tariffs]," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 211-212, June.
    13. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan & Michael D. Whinston, 1989. "Multiproduct Monopoly, Commodity Bundling, and Correlation of Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 371-383.
    14. Wilson, Robert, 1991. "Multiproduct Tariffs," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 5-26, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Hellwig, Martin, 1998. "On the economics and politics of corporate finance and corporate control," Papers 98-43, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    2. Vittoria Cerasi & Sonja Daltung, 2006. "Financial Structure, Managerial Compensation and Monitoring," Working Papers 20061102, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Dipartimento di Statistica.
    3. Carletti, Elena & Cerasi, Vittoria & Daltung, Sonja, 2007. "Multiple-bank lending: Diversification and free-riding in monitoring," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 425-451, July.
    4. Bertrand Rime, 2007. "Could Regional and Cantonal Banks Reduce Credit Risk through National Diversification?," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 143(I), pages 49-65, March.
    5. Alex Stomper, 2006. "A Theory of Banks' Industry Expertise, Market Power, and Credit Risk," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(10), pages 1618-1633, October.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:98-04. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Carsten Schmidt). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.